North Carolina GOP Beefs With The New York Times

North Carolina. (Photo: Wikimedia)
North Carolina. (Photo: Wikimedia)

“Thank you, New York Times,” the North Carolina Republican Party’s rather sarcastic letter began. “We southern hillbillies are always honored when the Old Gray Lady’s beacons of intelligence bestow their political wisdom from on high.”

The offense that sparked the missive was a July 10 New York Times editorial–entitled, “The Decline of North Carolina”–that blasted the state GOP for “tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.”

The Times was particularly critical of state legislators, along with GOP Gov. Pat McCroy, for ending federal unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of residents.

“North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness,” they wrote. “In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build.”

It turns out that those Republicans disagree with the assessment, however. Mr. McCrory, for instance, penned his own letter to the publication on July 12, defending the state’s governance, and in today’s letter, Mr. McCrory’s party went after The Times itself for its editorial leanings–as well as the alleged swooning that results from said leanings.

“No wonder the liberals here swoon over your every word,” the fuming continued. “What you oracles of knowledge lack in humility, you certainly make up for in fair-mindedness, and accuracy.”

Read the full letter below:

In response to the editorial ‘The Decline of North Carolina’ published by the New York Times editorial board on July 9, 2013, Chairman Claude Pope submitted an open letter to the New York Times on Friday July 12th. text of the letter is below:

Thank you, New York Times. We southern hillbillies are always honored when the Old Gray Lady’s beacons of intelligence bestow their political wisdom from on high.

And why shouldn’t we be eager to heed your advice on critical legislative matters pending in the Tar Heel State?

After all, you’ve stood courageously against some of humanity’s most imminent threats – like soda. Does the thought of hiking taxes on North Carolina’s job creators make your Ivy League hearts flutter as fast as a new tax on Dr. Pepper? It must. Why else would you be so serious about leaving the unemployed stuck in poverty, instead of helping them climb out of it by creating new jobs?

You’re one of the world’s most ardent advocates of diversity and tolerance. Except the ideological kind, of course. Remember 1956? That’s the last time you endorsed a Republican presidential candidate.

That’s right: Carter, Dukakis, Mondale – all met your elite editorial standards. So it’s understandable you felt the need to traipse into this General Assembly’s business, with no mention of the Democrat disaster that preceded it.

If you had ever stepped foot in North Carolina, you’d know the carnage you describe is actually a massive rebuilding and clean-up effort. Your ideological soul mates sunk this state into a financial hole larger than your collective egos.

No wonder the liberals here swoon over your every word. What you oracles of knowledge lack in humility, you certainly make up for in fair-mindedness, and accuracy.

Although, your “demolition derby” of hyperbole did miss the mark on our legislative agenda. The voter ID laws we’re “rushing” through have actually been in the works since January. The convicted death row inmates you defend – those guilty of some of our state’s most egregious, violent crimes – already have an avenue to prove discrimination, one that doesn’t rely on faulty political science research.

What was it, exactly, about North Carolina that you found so “farsighted”? Was it double-digit unemployment? Horrendous dropout rates? Declining wages? The highest taxes in the Southeast?

And spend more money for better education, you say? How’s that working for your public schools, NYC? Still poorly-performing, and poverty stricken?

Oh, and thanks for all the revenue. The “grotesque” policies you decry are bringing North Carolina more residents from New York than any other state in the nation.

Thanks again, New York Times. We aspire one day to live in a state as progressive, clean and friendly as your city. And to live in a world as enlightened as your editorial board.

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